The gdR 2014 Year in Review: Doing our part to help the tech community grow

Bruce Dorland

January 21, 2015

2014 was a banner year for the Toronto tech and startup community, with more activity and new initiatives than we’ve ever seen before. While our team has been busy placing tons of great people at some of Toronto’s best startups and software companies, it’s also in the fabric of the gdR family to volunteer with, sponsor and cheer on initiatives that we think add value to developers’ careers and the tech community as a whole (plus, we believe in good karma!). From grassroots projects to international outreach, here’s some of what our team was part of in 2014.

Launching gdR Grow Events: In fall 2014, we launched our own series of invite-only learning events for developers, QA, product and tech leaders based on feedback from our community about what they seek from learning and networking events. Our first two Grow Events featured panelists from companies like Wattpad, Pivotal Labs, Upverter and Boltmade.

Being named Toronto’s best tech recruiter by Startup North:  Tech evangelist Dave Crow gave a big shoutout to gdR on his annual guide to the local startup ecosystem for the second year in a row.

Partnering with Toronto Homecoming Tech Startups Stream:  A program aimed to recruit Canadian professionals living abroad back to work in Toronto tech, we hosted roundtable discussions as well as a panel discussion about the local tech startup landscape. The panel was made up of Mark MacLeod (CFO, Freshbooks), Katherine Hague (VP, The Blueprint) and Salim Teja (EVP, MaRS Ventures).

Supported the first-ever Startup Career Expo at MaRS:  Hundreds of young professionals and students gathered at MaRS for an interactive fair aimed at educating them about exciting job opportunities at Canadian startups.

Opening our doors at Startup Open House:  2400+ curious individuals signed up for the Toronto edition of this global event, with 120+ local tech companies opening their doors to anyone curious about what it’s like to work there.

Partnering with events like FITC Spotlight on Angular & Web Unleashed:  We joined forces with FITC learning events through sponsorship, MCing events and offering events discounts to developers.

Having one of our own nominated as a top 10 Toronto Tech Community Contributor:  Our Community & Marketing Manager, Anna Starasts, was acknowledged by TO Tech’s new award acknowledging the volunteer work and contributions of individuals in the tech and startup community.

Marking 1 year of supporting women in tech through the Girl Geeks Meetup:  Working with a team of 2 other tech-savvy women, Anna also marked her 1 year anniversary of co-organizing the awesome Girl Geeks Toronto Meetup.

For 2015, we’re looking forward to building on the success of gdR Grow events (with our first event in late February on the future of frontend) and continuing to contribute our energy to events and initiatives that nurture learning and leadership within the Toronto tech and startup community.

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